Nursing Major Career Planning Options
Nursing involves the identification, assessment, and treatment of patient responses to actual or potential health problems. The Registered Nurse (RN) utilizes planning, systematic action, evaluation, and communication skills to effectively provide care, treatment, counseling, and health education to ill or injured people. In addition, nurses are educated to advocate for and to promote optimal wellness of individuals as well as diverse populations in the community. Rivier University nursing majors learn to assess patients’ biological, physical and emotional needs, so as to understand their unique complexities in order to develop and implement effective individualized plans of care. Nurses learn to use the information to facilitate patient recovery, independence, and a return to optimal levels of functioning. Rapid changes in the health care system, emerging technological advances, and cultural shifts toward health and wellness have worked to broaden the scope of nursing career opportunities. Rivier University nursing majors achieve a liberal arts and sciences foundation, which serves to enhance career opportunities requiring solid communication and critical thinking skills. Visit Rivier’s Department of Nursing and Health Professions for information on degrees and course offerings.
Nursing Major Skills
Clinical experiences offer Rivier nursing students exposure to a variety of health care settings. In addition, students are encouraged to research and reflect upon specialty areas and particular settings of interest. For example, a student with a special interest in critical care nursing or school nursing or pediatric nursing can request a related clinical preceptorship experience as part of the baccalaureate program of studies. Upon graduation, the student can then seek positions which will advance his/her skills and lead towards intended goals.
Career Paths in Nursing
Career options for RNs vary by setting and area of concentration. In-patient career options include hospital based nursing, nursing administration, case management and risk management, and education. Out-patient career options include home care, long-term care, cardiac rehabilitation, school nursing, hospice care, public health nursing, and occupational health careers. Non-traditional career options include insurance, law, sales, consulting and entrepreneurship. Careful career planning can help nursing majors make the most of their education. Typically, a bachelor’s degree and further graduate study are necessary to pursue certain specialties including Nurse Anesthetist, Nurse Midwife, and Nurse Practitioner, as well as advanced positions in health care administration, research, and higher education. Graduate nursing programs offered at Rivier include Family Nurse Practitioner, Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner/Clinical Specialist, and Nursing Education.
Nursing graduates may work as . . .
(The following are titles from across the industry. Some of these jobs may require education or experience beyond a bachelor’s degree.)
In-Patient and Out-Patient Career Options:
Case Management and Patient Care Advocacy
Professional and Patient Education
Home Care Nursing
Long Term Care Nursing
Business Career Options:
Quality Assurance Manager
Nursing graduates may work at . . .
Ways to Increase Employability:
- Pursue elective course work or additional training related to one’s professional field of interest.
- Participate in volunteer and service learning opportunities.
- Become an active student member of university, community, or professional organizations, which enhance leadership skills and promote networking relationships with fellow professionals.
- Obtain quality practical experience prior to graduation through relevant part-time, full-time, and summer job positions.
Sources of Information on Majors, Careers and Employment in Nursing:
- Rivier University Faculty Advisors, Academic Advisors, & Chemistry Department Resources
- Professionals Working in the Field
- Professional Organizations
Professional & Rivier University Organizations Related to Nursing:
- National Student Nurse’s Association
- American Nurses Association
- American Academy of Nursing
- American Nursing Informatics Association
- Association of Peri-Operative (Operating Room) Registered Nurses
- American Academy of Ambulatory Care Nurses
- American Holistic Nurses Association
- The American Psychiatric Nurses Association
- Association of Pediatric Oncology Nurses
- Association of Rehabilitation Nurses
- Emergency Nurses Association
- Academy of Medical Surgical Nurses
- American Academy of Nurse Practitioners
- American Assembly for Men in Nursing
- National League for Nursing
- American Association of Nurse Anesthetists
- Home Healthcare Nurses Association
- National Association of School Nurses
Career Related Websites for Nursing Majors:
- Information on a Career in Nursing
- Discover Nursing (Occupational information and profiles of nurses working in various specialties)
- Registered Nurses (Career description from the Occupational Outlook Handbook)
- A Career as a Nurse Educator
- A Career as a Nurse Anesthetist
- Career Profiles in Nursing (A collection of career profiles on a variety of nursing professionals working in different areas of healthcare. Includes job descriptions, employment experience, educational paths, professional affiliations, 3 challenging aspects of the job, and advice for those interested in entering the field.)
- National Council – State Boards of Nursing (Includes all the national state boards of nursing websites and their licensure requirements)
- Nursing Net (Occupational and employment information for nursing practice of all disciplines. Includes mentoring information and newsgroups for nurses and nursing students.)
- Nursing Center (Features peer consultation forums, professional career opportunities, and databases of nursing organizations for nurses in practice, education, research, and nursing students.)
- Nursing Career/Job Search (From the National Student Nurse’s Association – an interactive online RN relocation source and job service and nursing resources web search engine.)
- Nurse Option USA (Free nationwide RN job listings)
- Nurse’s Professional Cyber nurse (Career information, employment, and other links)
- RN Wanted.com (Opportunities for nurses, nursing careers with the best hospitals and health care providers with job listings in all 50 states!)
- Public Health Employment Connection (Public Health Career search website)
- Exam2Jobs.com (Practice Exams and Job Search)